9Point8 Pulse Dropper Post - Review

Dec 18, 2013
by Mike Levy  
There are a good number of dropper posts on the market these days, with many different designs to choose from that all look to do similar things in the end, but that hasn't stopped 9Point8 from designing their own version that they say offers a different take on getting your seat out of the way.

The $499 USD Pulse, which is manufactured at 9Point8's factory in Ancaster, Canada, gives users a stepping function that allows the seat to be lowered in just 5mm increments with a pull of its third brake lever-like remote, or to be positioned anywhere in its 100mm of available travel. 9Point8 also takes a different approach to selling the Pulse, with it and many of its small parts being available for order directly off of their website as opposed to going through standard distribution channels. Likewise, they deal directly with consumers when it comes to service and warranty issues, and the Pulse comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

9Point8 Pulse Details:
• Total travel: 100mm
• 5mm stepping increments or infinite
• Dual function remote trigger
• Hydraulic internals, air sprung
• Offset head available (25mm, $35 USD)
• Sizes: 30.9 and 31.6mm
• Manufactured in Canada
• Limited lifetime warranty
• Weight: 686 grams (31.6mm, w/ remote and cable)
• MSRP: $499 USD



Construction

The Pulse's stepping feature is controlled by way of a special valve (shown at right) that allows for both 5mm incremental changes in height or for the rider to adjust their saddle infinitely anywhere within its 100mm of travel. 9Point8 says that the design utilizes a constant volume displacing piston and a two-stage hydraulic valve, and the entire assembly threads into the Pulse's head to sit just under the actuation arm. Pulling on the remote lever only part way in order to activate the stepping function will tug down on the actuation arm, which then compresses the valve slightly and displaces a constant amount of fluid that correlates with a single 5mm drop in saddle height. The valve will then return to its resting location automatically, regardless of if you're still holding the remote's trigger in the same stepping position. Releasing the trigger allows the actuation arm to relax, letting you step down another 5mm or pull the trigger through its entire throw to allow the post to move through its stroke freely, with the valve's oil passage opening completely when doing so.

The two-stage valve isn't the only clever bit hidden within the Pulse's black aluminum body - the 9Point8 also employs a cunning brass key-way design that they say greatly reduces rotational play between the outer body and the stanchion tube that might otherwise increase over time. Brass keys aren't anything new of course, and they are used in most dropper posts, but 9Point8's are different in two ways: each of the three keys is actually split in half and hollow, with a small spring between each portion; and they also sport a unique bullet shape that corresponds with their homes machined into the bottom of the Pulse's stanchion tube. The idea is to allow the keys to self-adjust in length, thanks to the spring between each half, as both them and their channels wear, thereby lessening the amount of free play that might develop over the long haul.

Pulse 9.8 Dropper Post review test

The Pulse's split brass keys have been designed to compensate for wear by extending sightly in length over time.


Return speed can be adjusted by raising or lowering the pressure of the air spring with a standard shock pump that threads onto an air valve located at the bottom of the Pulse. 9Point8 ships the post with a nitrogen charge of 200 PSI, and they recommend between 150 and 250 PSI depending on your needs and the conditions. For example, extremely cold temperatures may mean that you'll have to run a higher pressure in order for the post to rebound at regular speeds. Despite the nitrogen charge that it comes stock from 9Point8 with, using standard air will have zero affect on its performance.

Pulse 9.8 Dropper Post review test

It's very well thought out head separates seat rail clamping and angle adjustment duties, as well as being easily convertible between in-line and offset positions.


The Pulse's head uses a sturdy looking design that separates fore/aft and seat angle adjustments, a smart layout that means removing your seat for whatever reason won't see you starting from scratch in regards to your preferred seat angle. The opposing horizontal rail clamp bolts are tightened down with a 4mm hex tool, while a set of inline vertical bolts thread into replaceable steel barrels and adjust saddle angle. These inline bolts require a 3mm hex tool, which is slightly smaller than what the rail clamp bolts ask for, and the cable clamp bolt on the actuation arm requires yet a different 2.5mm hex key. 9Point8 have also gone to great lengths to meet the needs of different riders who may require either an in-line or setback seating position, with a $35 USD conversion kit available that consists of an interchangeable rail clamp assembly that gives 25mm of setback.



Installation

The Pulse comes with very concise and clear instructions, and installation should be a pretty straight forward job for anyone who knows how to use a wrench. As with any dropper post whose actuation takes place at its head, it is best to at least ballpark your saddle height before trimming the housing in order to be sure that you nail the correct length the first time, something that requires bolting your seat in place if you don't know your measured height to the seat rail clamp. The opposing horizontal twin 4mm hex head rail clamp bolts make this much easier than the more common inline vertical bolts because you aren't required to align any inserts or barrels that would otherwise be present. We would like to see a deeper tool interface used on these, though, even if the torque required doesn't call for it - something tells us that many home mechanics would appreciate this. With the correct height sorted out we could now remove the seat to give better access to the cable clamping bolt, as well as move on to trimming and installing the cable and housing to the exact length.

If you've ever swapped a cable on a shifter or mechanical brake, you'll have zero issues with dialling in the Pulse. It is clear where the cable needs to be clamped thanks to a shallow channel machined into the actuation arm, and the cable gets pinned under a good sized washer that keeps it from migrating as you tighten the clamping bolt down. Again, we'd like to see different hardware used, with the clamp bolt tool interface being both too shallow and too small for our liking. The hardware complaint aside, the Pulse is free of any real setup trouble that we could find, and we especially like the separation of the post's seat angle and rail clamp bolts that mean the angle of your seat won't be altered when you remove it to access the cable anchor bolt or for any other reason. It does mean that there is an extra set of steel bolts compared to the more common two-bolt design, but the slight weight increase is well worth it in our minds.

While the post itself presented no issues during installation, the Pulse's remote may cause some riders grief when they try to find a suitable angle for it on their handlebar. The lever is ambidextrous, and it's smartly designed clamp makes it simple to slip onto the bar without removing any other controls, but the position of the lever
pivot doesn't play nice with brakes that use a large master cylinder like that found on Shimano stoppers. The result is that the remote is forced into a position closer to parallel with the ground than we would ever use otherwise. We do admittedly run our brake levers slightly higher than many prefer, but we also ran into the same issue when using the Pulse with Avid's sleeker master cylinder, although to a much lesser degree. To 9Point8's credit, they will mail you a cardboard template of the remote so you can check to see if it works well with your handlebar setup, a smart and thoughtful move on their part, and they are also currently designing a more traditional remote that will be available as a stock option with the Pulse at the time of purchase. .



Performance

Pulse's "third brake lever" remote admittedly had us questioning 9Point8's reasoning for not going with a more traditional thumb operated design after we ran through the post's initial setup, but how does it perform on the trail? Well, we've still got for the same question for them, but the design does pan out better than we first expected. As with anything else control related, the key is having it sit in a position that makes sense for your hands, something that took a few tries for us to get right... or at least close to right. Part of this is down to the aforementioned angle that it sits at due to where our brake levers rest, but reach also plays a role here as the remote's lever blade is a touch short for our liking. This meant we had to stretch a bit to grab it, and it ended up not feeling terribly ergonomic. We did get mostly used to it eventually, and the concept could be made even better with a slightly different shape and perch layout, but we can't help but wonder why 9Point8 didn't employ some sort of smaller thumb remote up against the grip from the get-go as Specialized and KS have done, the two most intuitive setups out there right now. To their credit, they have realized that the current remote won't be for everyone and have designed a push-style version that can be situated either above or below the handlebar, as well as set in either a vertical or horizontal plane. We weren't able to source the new style remote before writing this review, but it looks to be a big improvement, and riders can order it as an add-on when they purchase their Pulse seat post directly from 9Point8.

Pulse 9.8 Dropper Post review test

We didn't find the Pulse's trigger style remote to be nearly as convenient as push button thumb versions found on other posts, especially in high-speed situations.


From the Pulse's remote to its stepping function, the post's action is unlike anything else currently on the market. This became apparent the first time we went to use the Pulse, as the remote sports very distinct action through its throw thanks to the post's two-stage hydraulic valve. Pull the lever part way while weighting the seat to activate the stepping feature and it drops down just 5mm, with it then stopping until you release and pull the trigger again to lower it a further 5mm. This can be done repeatedly to locate the Pulse anywhere in its 100mm of travel in 5mm increments, which means there are twenty different seat heights to choose from. You can also pull the lever past its well defined indexing point to allow it to lower unrestricted. Using the stepping function might sound clumsy when read here but it did work as advertised on the trail, and it could be done somewhat efficiently once we were used to the action. Is it as fast as lowering a non-indexed post such as a Kronolog or Reverb to the desired height? Definitely not, but it does have an assuring feel to it that will prevent you from lowering your seat past the height you were looking for. After much trail-time we would like to see a version of the Pulse that offers 10mm steps instead of 5mm, thereby speeding up the process of lowering the seat - 5mm just seems a bit to exacting for our tastes, especially in the heat of the moment on the trail when approaching a technical move. We also quickly realized that it would be tricky to use both the brake lever and the Pulse's remote at the same time, an act that we wished was easier due to how often one grabs a handful of brake while also trying to lower their seat to prepare themselves as they roll into a tricky section. This was less of an issue on slow speed terrain such as steep roll-ins that one approaches with caution, but much more of a concern when speeds picked up and reaction times become critical. Again, this isn't an issue with thumb operated remotes, and 9Point8's newly designed lever should address this complaint.

9Point8 s updated optional Pulse remote. Photo supplied by 9Point8.

9Point8 is working on a new style remote that should solve our grievances with the current trigger design tested here, and it's an option that we recommend going with when ordering the Pulse.


The post itself proved to be very smooth throughout its travel, with no jamming or grinding to report during the months and months of abuse we've put it through, an evaluation that saw it used in some pretty terrible weather and countless post-ride jet washings. The travel was also consistently easy to attain, with no noticeable ramp-up in weighting required to compress it near the end of its stroke, something that hampers a few other air-sprung dropper posts on the market. The same can be said of the post's rebound stroke, with it returning to full height quickly but in a controlled way, and its small yet audible top-out clunk is a nice feature as it let us know that the seat was back up to full height. You are also able to use the stepping function to raise the post 5mm at a time, although we didn't find this useful in the slightest when put into practice on the trail - when we wanted to raise the seat, we wanted it raised to full mast. And although the 9.8 utilizes hydraulic internals, the seat can't be pulled up through its travel when lifting the bike in that manner when the seat is lowered, a nice attribute of the Pulse's design. It is also worth noting that it required zero cable tension adjustment after the initial break-in period, meaning that it's far less finicky than some other cable operated designs out there.

Stepping function and remote design aside, potential owners will have to ask themselves if 100mm of travel will be enough for their needs. A few years ago we would have said that yes, that amount of drop is more than enough to get the job done, but now that we've had plenty of time on 125mm and 150mm travel seat posts, we found the Pulse's shorter stroke a bit of a irritant in technical terrain, and especially when faced with any serious jump or drop. This might not be an issue if you've never used a longer travel dropper post, and especially not if you don't often get too rowdy on the trail, but if we're going to install a 686 gram dropper post to our bike, which is heavier than options from KS, RockShox, FOX, and Specialized, by the way, we would like it to have more than 100mm of travel.

Pulse 9.8 Dropper Post review test

The Pulse's head proved to be creak and groan free during our time with it.



Issues

We did discover one major issue with the Pulse seat post during testing: it would creep up in its travel when ridden over extended and extremely rough ground. It was never a lot, maybe only an inch at most, but it isn't a pleasant feeling to discover that your seat is slightly higher than expected mid-way through a gnarly section of trail. This was exacerbated by the post sporting 100mm of overall travel, 25 - 50mm less than some of the competition, which means that every little bit of available drop helps. We originally suspected our test bike's suspension linkage was interfering with the actuation cable, but that was proven to not be the case when the same issue occurred on multiple other test rigs, as well as with the cable completely undone to eliminate the possibility of too much tension being the source of the problem. The issue only occurred on terrain that rattled the bike around quite a bit, which lead us to believe that the post's two-step hydraulic actuation assembly was being knocked into action in such situations and, as it turned out, that was the case. ''No other customers have reported this issue, but after you mentioned it to us, we tested all posts in our warehouse,'' 9Point8's Steven Park told us. ''We discovered that a handful of them would creep slightly under vibration. This was caused by the seal in the main piston. We’ve since begun using a much better seal that does not creep. All posts sold after July 9, 2013, have the new seal, and should any customers discover this problem, we’ll replace the seal for them at no cost under our lifetime warranty.''

Some riders might take contention with the actuation point being on the seat post's head, but we're still adamant that giving the cable proper routing will eliminate any complications on that front - we used a few zip-ties where required and never once had the cable rub either the rear tire or our legs. It won't ever been as clean as the stationary routing found on a KS LEV or Crank Brothers' Kronolog, though, or as resistant to contamination as a design the uses internal routing.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes9Point8's Pulse seat post is quite unique compared to other options on the market, but the real question is if its distinctive design and function makes it better than the competition. At this point, we'd have to say that the answer is that it doesn't, and that its novel stepping action isn't practical enough for it to really be an advantage over other designs currently available. Having said that, the Pulse's 100mm of travel can also be used without accessing the stepping function by simply pulling the remote's trigger further in its throw, an approach that we ended up using more often than not. All things considered, the Pulse requires some refining before we'd choose it for our own bike over other dropper posts. - Mike levy


www.9point8.ca


145 Comments

  • + 88
 1, all these things are too damn expensive. 2, please stop putting the cable under the seat...much better to have it mounted right above the seat collar. Less cable to worry about flying around. 3, stop making remotes that get bashed up every time you flip the bike over to remove the wheels, please. Or proprietary lever remotes that nobody likes. That'd be a step in the right direction too.
  • - 7
flag lukachadwick (Dec 18, 2013 at 0:11) (Below Threshold)
 Ye, I know a few people who have broken the levers in crashes too. And hydraulic over cable all the way!
  • - 2
 parkourfan - Point.3 Agreed, Fox DOSS is more stupid though. Point1 - mnaaaah...Reverb is ok in relation to Fox or Thomson. Point 2.I have two droppers with cable mounted under the seat, that I had on three differnet frames and I could not be less bothered with the cable. I have also heard swearing and cursing of people owning Reverb Stealth, when they tried to take their post out for servicing. I've seen Reverbs and KS Supernaturals taken apart just as the KS Lev. I heard sad stories of friends complaining about reliability of LEV after they switched from KS Supernatural. In short words: if you think that cable mounted just above the collar solves something without compromising ten other thigns then you are so wrong on the internet. Just saying Wink
  • + 11
 less than a $ per gram, thats great value! Razz
  • + 64
 for coke maybe
  • + 1
 Bear in mind it's made in Canada, not in Asia by underpaid factory workers. So when you compare this post's cost to that of a Reverb or KS Lev, it's very reasonable!
  • + 29
 $500 for a dropper post is not reasonable, no matter where it's made, no matter who makes it. Never mind the fact that it doesn't work well.
  • - 2
 MSRP: $499 USD=Dislike. JMO though.
  • + 4
 I wonder if this one will be tougher. I know a few people have had problems with bushing play and seal failure in their reverbs. Maybe the shorter travel and expensive seals prevent that?
The cost comes from somewhere.
  • + 19
 i dont care where its manufactured...if your making an adjustable seatpost for $500 it better be 100% perfect.
  • + 14
 500$? Madder
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns

I'm not a big fan of the reverb stealth either, I don't like having hydraulic lines internally routed. Or really anything much internally routed...I end up changing cables often, and it's too much bother. I meant mounted like gravity dropper's...I think that's the least compromise. External routing for ease of service, but cuts down on extra cable. That's the best design so far IMO, solves many of the issues that annoy me the most.
  • + 4
 Kind Shock eTen is by far the best bang for the buck 100mm dropper out there, just picked one up for $125 shipped. It’s a tad heavy at 730 grams and was a little slow when I got it. But taking it apart and wiping out the thick slow grease it came with and re-lubing with some faster Slick Honey grease, the thing works great and is very solid.
  • + 1
 I bought a joplin4 for $150 from pricepoint, mostly because of price and color (gold). I'm looking for advances, but i'd like to see the price stay near $250. External routing hasnt been an issue, I installed it myself (LBS tidied up my cuts). Bulletproof. My point is: the price for a "good" dropper shouldn't be double what i paid 2 yrs ago because the tech hasnt increased by even 25%.
  • + 2
 its ugly and I'm 200+ lbs but i have been sitting on a Giant Contact for over a season and a half and its still a champ. its all just circumstance.
  • + 5
 i wish there were a way for price complainers to develop their own hypothetical bike/parts business and products and then have them reviewed by the pinkbike audience. every single one would be torn apart for whatever reason, and they'd all have their reasons for why the product is expensive or why there were production/engineering issues, etc, etc. and then they'd realize oh wow, this is real life shit. this actually happens!
  • - 1
 i make and sell overpriced under-performing and somewhat unreliable goods to people, its easy, and they think its OK, they are very happy with this situation and seem happy to thow away cash for more of the same . meanwhile in the real world ....
  • + 8
 @slowdown: 500 is a lot of dough if your salary is under pressure because chinese hands are cheaper. If you buy locally, somebody else will do the same with whatever YOU make or sell. At that moment in time - 500 is ok. Now if you buy a LEV your money will most likely finance a chinese carrier group and sharkfin soup for a functionary and not someone elses health insurance, Puls-post, pension, schools in your greater neighbourhood. Frankly I am tired of the superficial china bling and the walmartesque structures. I want real stuff made by a real company with real benefit structures. So I will look at the canadian post once my Thomson is wearing out which will take some time because its a great quality piece of equipment.
  • - 6
flag cretin82 (Dec 18, 2013 at 12:38) (Below Threshold)
 But is it enduro specific?
  • - 6
flag mfbeast12 (Dec 18, 2013 at 14:32) (Below Threshold)
 The only droppe I've tried was a reverb and I loved it, and I totally agree hydraulic over cable any day- no doubt about it. Everyone else needs to get on the hydraulic boat because aside from maybe thompson and KS all other cable ones suck or are massively overpriced (coughcough- this one).

And good they're creating a new remote, because whoever had the idea for the first one should be shot.
  • + 1
 Would they not be able to make a lighter, simpler spring actuated seat post? Keep the casing, but put a long spring in it like a fork and have a button on the bar that locks it out. You could sit down to compress it and releasr the button to make it stay there. Could be a cheaper option instead, as well as having different spring rates to suit weights and rebound stuff
  • + 1
 Reverb ftw
  • + 1
 @ Norco-rider: Basically that with an airspring instead of a coil and a key system to keep it from twisting should describe most posts I would think. If not lets patent the idea and sue everyone like good ole DW!
  • + 1
 Sounds like a great plan!
  • + 1
 I have the drawings on my computer from about 6 months ago.
  • + 2
 I demo-ed this post for a few rides and I quite liked it. The action is more positive than my Reverb. I ended up using the stepping function far more than I thought I would, it helped to find that elusive "rough level terrain" height. The lever ended up being more consistent in the cold than the hydro push of the Reverb. I used mine with XTR stoppers and had no real issues. I guess I never really found myself trying to stop as well as lower the post at the same time. My inseam is 30 inch so the 100mm drop was never too small for me. A great product IMO. The direct service and warranty is pretty cool I guess. Canadian made, even better
  • + 14
 Slightly off topic but seat tubes should all be a 'standard' (ie. one size) diameter. Being able to manufacture one size of seat post would bring the cost of all seat posts down. Anyone who hasn't ridden a dropper post does not know what they are missing. Jus' sayin'.
  • - 3
 The problem comes with lost mechanical advantages. Linkages often depend on seat tubes placement. I would like it though, if all seat posts fit all bikes.
  • + 4
 He's not talking about seat tube placement, he's talking about the diameter of the tube. If there was an industry standard for sizing then companies would only need to manufacture seat posts in 30.9 (as an example) instead of other sizes. That would save them money which would save us money as well.
  • + 3
 Right, but when you are required to use a narrower post than a design might want you'll see increased flex at the pivot points. Engineers choose the tube diameters for a reason. You don't have to like it, but how they choose them is more than aesthetic.
  • + 4
 Does no one realize that a reverb RETAIL price is over 500$ and if you break the lever on a reverb the parts are retardedly expensive
  • + 1
 It would take a hell of a lot to convince me that 0.7 of a mm or similar would change the bend characteristics or flex to make any difference on a bike. 30.9 is the way forward (just 'cos I ride Spesh)
  • + 1
 It does sound reasonable, doesn't it. Maybe you are right, and if you are i would expect to see the dropper producers putting pressure on frame manufacturers to standardize. I hope that's the case.
  • + 12
 For people that 1-finger brake and use the curl at the end of the brake lever for that one finger... how do you reach the dropper lever? It is impossible for riders like this to use levers mounted inboard of the brake lever. Well, impossible without completely letting go of the bar.

Droppers are an excellent addition to mountain biking, but truthfully they all suck right now. Every single one of them has serious shortcomings. I'm not talking about trade-offs that don't work for a particular person, but outright sub-optimal engineering. 10 years. That's how long I think it will take for the industry to get the kinks out of this technology. This is like the elastomer fork era of dropper technology.
  • + 0
 I'm with you on that one. Seems ludicrous that they are not addressing more of these issues. Love the idea, however struggling to fork over the cash for something that I can see drastic improvements coming down the pipeline.
  • + 1
 GD has short comings? pleas tell me
  • + 1
 Ironically, it looks like an elastomer fork. But you're right, it has no shortcomings whatsoever. ;-)
  • + 13
 I don't need 5mm increments , my arse knows if it's at the right height thanks
  • + 21
 Yeah, first question that came to mind when I read about the 5mm increments was "Am I the only one who rides it either fully slammed or fully extended?". Seems like both positions are just perfect for me.
  • + 3
 I actually use the middle position on my DOSS more than fully slammed. I'm still playing with saddle height and whatnot, though.
  • + 9
 It is high quality and reliable. Might be middle of the pack in features, but oozes quality when in your hand. With the new remote it is much nicer. They work as advertised... No doubt expensive, but consider their confidence in offering you lifetime warranty, how long is sram's warranty? Which product will give you better value and less hassle...
  • + 7
 I got really interested in these posts a while back and thought I sure could use one and so after some research I concluded that this is a kick-ass post Smile I got to try out the demo and have been riding on very technical rocky terrain for about two months now and I used it all the time continually testing it. I'm a very aggressive rider @ 215lbs + gear and always put way more pressure on it than any of the Flyweights ever will and the post performs flawlessly and recently in -25 deg C temps Smile Yes it's pricey and that was the only thing holding me back from purchasing one but there was a sale on them recently and now I have my very own one Smile I've heard that many people just hate the lever control but it's super simple to use and should not be an issue for anyone and especially for the experienced riders. Using the lever I could not see myself being happy with another type of control. With superb performance, the ease of set up and maintenance AND a life-time warranty this post is the "DROPPER" to have Smile JFCI!!!
  • + 7
 That seatpost cost 50 bucks less than my locally made all-mtn frame, my dhx air 5.0, my seatpost collar and my headset put together. Although it seems rediculous, maybe someday we will accept seatposts to be as big an investment as suspension.
  • + 5
 The post costs more than I have spent on any of my bikes lol
  • + 2
 Are you really comparing prices of a used frameset to a new dropper post?
  • + 3
 They have Walmart in the Netherlands?
  • + 1
 Nope. As far as I know there's no Walmart anywhere in Europe.


EDIT: lol, I just realized what you ment lol nah I just look around a lot for great deals. If you're not in a hurry to get new parts / upgrades, and you take time to search around / wait for the right deals (new or 2nd hand), it's possible to build a bike for around 20-25% of the retail value. So if you spend half a year to a year building a bike and spending 400 euros on it, you can have a bike that has a retail value of 1600-2000 euros.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I was just razzing you. Glad you can take a joke. Cheers!
  • + 7
 Gravity dropper all the way. Made in Montana, simple and cheap. The last thing I need on my bike is another component with seals, valves, and oil that eventually f**ks up.
  • + 6
 Reverb (stealth): The only one
  • + 4
 For above 0ºC, agreed!
  • + 2
 i'm lucky, i don't live in Finland Smile
  • + 1
 Yea I've had problems in cold weather too, (with my old standart reverb) my stealth has not been ridden under 0C.
But cold temperature will lead to problems with everything that contains oil.
A fork won't work at -20C either Wink
  • + 1
 It needs a remote that goes under the handlebar so you can flip your bike over. And the remote hurts if the bike lands on you. You can mount the remote upside down on the other side, but may not fit well. More distance on the adjustable post would be nice too, like double what they got now. Lucky, my reverb 2nd gen has no problems in minus 5.
  • + 2
 5mm increment why? really why? I can find plus or minus 5mm adjusting my underwear. 20mm maybe, but don't think it's summat iv ever needed. it either up or its down we me. Genuine question Does anybody really ride half mast in between?
  • + 2
 I dont use dropper posts but from what I've learnt on pinkbike there's to many dropper posts already so please stop making them, or atleast make one that dosent cost a shitload of money or weighs a ton. otherwise i cant see the advaantage of using a dropper post.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 18, 2013 at 1:53) (Below Threshold)
 Funny you say that being Swedish... People riding in Göteborg and Stockholm cannot imagine their riding life without dropper posts and they would still buy and ride them even if they weighed and costed double. Ehhh Skåningar...
  • + 7
 If there was no competition and only one dropper post, the company would not need to improve it because people who want want have no other choice than buying their post. But the more competition you have, the harder it gets to sell your posts. Because of that they need to step up their game and make sure theirs is better or cheaper than the others. This is how competition creates high quality parts. Without any competition between cycling companies we'd still ride the same bikes as people did in the 1980s.
  • + 1
 @Wakidesigns i don't know about the göteborgare and stockholmare but in the folks i know in skåne dont ride with a dropper post...
@mattin you are abselutely correct but at least they could work with lowering the production costs and the weigh instead of reinventing the same thing over and over again...
  • + 1
 Was thinking the same as WAKIdesigns, the feature that dropper post enables is far greater than the weight penalty, and not just on "fun" scale, but against clock too. 9.8 pulse here is in weird category - you can get a dropper post for same weight, but with more reliable function and easier service for 1/4th of the price. ICE left V8 works on -20ºC degrees too, which is really convenient when residing in nordic countries.

Couple of years back I started thinking of getting a dropper post, I was only worried about the price vs. durability. I should have bought the item sooner. I'll never go back to a normal post on MTB, so I can recommend these for anyone who doesn't yet have one. Useful in everything except road or CX.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 18, 2013 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 The clue might lie in the topography... in fact I cannot imagine a better place for having a dropper post than up here in Glennborg or in Hellas... I might be using it 100 or more times per ride. You do use a suspension fork isn't it? How many differnt kinds of forks do you have there? How bad is it to have those brands and options within them? Reverb costs 250£, that is less than a half of a decent new fork, and fork has two stanchions with internals in them, then steerer tube, crown - I call it a fair price.

And weight? - what the hell man? My Reverb weighs 550g, that is not even 300g more than Thomson Elite and If you want a 200g carbon post you spend same or more money than a Reverb... 300 freaking grams for a dramatical improvement in how you ride your bike in a varried terrain. I can barely think of any other thing than tubeless or wide that comes close to how it changed my riding, I'd rather give up the rear suspension than the dropper post - come to Gbg, I'll give you my 11,5kg carbon blur TR with super light wheels but without the dropper and I'll ride the hardtail with heavy wheels, locked out fork and the dropper. That will straight you up Wink
  • + 1
 Jeeze that's convincing. The votec ve 160 come with a dropper at every price point. I guess i have that to look forward to.
  • + 1
 Please email ↑ that to the geniuses whom don't allow heathcare to be bought over statelines, and now tell private companies what they can sell, what citizens can buy. (T. Sowell, is that you?)
  • + 1
 Why is it that the dropper post market seems to defy normal economic principles, i.e. as competition increases, quality increases and cost decreases?
It seems that with each new release, the cost goes up, quality stays about the same?
  • + 1
 Fashion. It skews things. There are some cheaper posts out there, but fashion makes people want certain brands more than others, keeping demand high. rock shox is king of all things "enduro" or aggressive trail at the moment, and that includes droppers.
  • + 1
 I'm not proud of the fact that I bought a chinese knock off dropper for $80, But if I'm going to buy a mediocre seatpost, I'm not going to spend $500. For that price it better be perfect and last a long time.
  • + 1
 Which one? im all about Chinese knockoffs
  • + 0
 This dropper post was covered very well in this review. I have considered such equipment on my all mtn. bike.

Then I saw the weight. Then I saw the price. Happens to me every time!Frown

My greatest concern. I push the limits when riding . So I crash. If my bike goes cart wheeling with out me and it does some times. What happens if I hit the seat violently with a side blow? How strong are these contraptions.?
How many peeps eventualy end up with sloppy fitting malfunctioning Dropper post?
  • + 1
 Dunno about this one but the amount of abuse my spec. blacklite took and not falling apart was incredible - the weight penalty is not something that bothers me but Im not to concerned about such things. Price on the other hand...
  • + 2
 It's frustrating for me......they put man on the moon in the 60's and no one can make a reliable dropper post with ALL the technology out there ???
  • + 4
 For that amount, I think I will stick with QR.
  • + 0
 I had a Reverb but went Lev Integra because my LBS threw it in on my Pivot Mach 6 frame purchase.I was apprehensive but free is free! and after two months on it can say it has been glitch free and even works well in cold temps!
  • + 2
 Make a 125mm (or bigger, 140 would be good, but in 30.9 !) version of it, with a standard thumb remote and you have a customer. Smile
  • + 3
 Looks like they are offering a "standard" remote on the 2014 model, can't help with the length though.
  • + 1
 These posts are manufactured locally to me and as much I wanted to support these guys, the funky lever remote and 100mm drop just couldn't be overlooked for me. I'm glad to see that they're offering a more traditional remote for 2014, but I still can't do with 100mm of travel. What's the point of using a dropper post if it still sticks out 4-5" from the seat tube when it's slammed?! Of course 100m works great for those folks who are on frames which don't require much seatpost out for proper leg extension, but I'm using a 150mm KS dropper and can't imagine going with 100mm...
  • + 5
 I wish they had been a little more reasonable about the length in the review. Longer isn't inherently better with droppers, it's a matter of fit: dropper post travel length needs to be less than the amount of exposed normal fully raised seatpost, while accounting for the seal head. It's not that uncommon for that number to mean 125mm is too long, as it would be for me. At least with a shorter stroke, the post will work for most use cases (a few companies even make 75mm drop for super short people) while perhaps not offering taller riders as much drop as they want. A company that only made a 125mm or longer post would be shutting themselves out of a large chunk of the market. It makes perfect sense to start with the 100mm segment and expand from there.
  • + 2
 I completely agree that longer isn't always better with droppers, but options are nice. I'm not sure if it's mechanically possible, but it would be stellar if they were able to make a post internally-adjustable to different max-extension lengths. I'm 6' tall with a 33.5" inseam riding a large frame, however at 18.5" the seat tube is on the short side for a typical large frame so I've got a ton seat post out...
  • + 1
 yea, that'd be a great idea. Droppers always seem to be the part that never works on your new frame, it'd be awesome to just change a setting, then you'd only have to get a new one if your seatpost diameter changes. Oh, and your post wasn't on my screen when I typed mine, so I wasn't attacking you or anything.
  • + 2
 @groghunter - That's a very good point that was missed on my part, my bad. I still think that the average rider would prefer more stroke, but I certainly know a few people who can't get away with a 125/150mm dropper on their current bikes.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy No biggie man, just an observation. It seems to be becoming more common as people buy bigger sizes in order to run shorter stems. I'm dying to know this, however: does the dropper lower without weighting the saddle? They implied that it does in their initial press releases, and THAT would be a killer feature that would make this post FAR more attractive.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy,

Here let me fix that for you:

The average rider would prefer more " stoke."
  • + 2
 Having actually played with a Pulse dropper on my buddy's bike, the saddle DOES need to be weighted in order for the dropper to do its thing
  • + 0
 Lame. I'd be willing to go with an "oil-slug" style post instead of a mechanical system, if I got a post that drops without weight. I want to stay in an aggressive, butt off the seat stance when I see something that makes me want to drop the post.
  • + 2
 @groghunter, having a mechanical post that lowers without requiring you to weight it is physically impossible due to the way that the air spring system works. Think about it.
  • + 1
 That would be why I said I would be willing to go to a non-mechanical post to get that feature. There's some electrically actuated posts that were announced recently, that should lower without weight. they're oil-slug style.
  • + 1
 No, the electric ones will be done with an electric linear actuator (likely a lead screw).

BTW, I have no idea what you're talking about when you use the term "oil-slug" and neither does Google.
  • + 1
 It's actually from a pinkbike article. posts like the reverb, and this one, you essentially sit on a valve, floating on a slug of oil. when you activate the lever, it opens the valve, and allows oil to flow from the bottom of the valve to the top, and vice-versa. mechanical posts like the DOSS and command post have mechanical parts that lock ( each uses a different mechanism) into slots in the outer tube. Some of us think this is the more reliable method to use, since a fault in the valve on an oil-slug style post can cause the seat to move up and down as you sit on it, whether you're pushing the lever or not.
  • + 0
 I understand how they air/hydraulic and air/mechanical posts work and neither work like an electrically actuated post.
  • + 1
 KS Droppers for the win, I have 2 and they've been faultless. I don't even use a remote since I have no problem taking my hand off the handlebars for half a second every few minutes.
  • + 2
 I want to switch out the remote for the lever on the post because i hate extra cable, but it looks like the one i'm getting has no reverse conversion. Frown
  • + 1
 Is it a Non-LEV KS? Then it should be possible.
  • + 3
 x-fusion hilo
  • + 2
 I agree that these things are expensive but the idea itself is ingenious and I can't imagine riding without one. Hydraulic all the way.
  • + 0
 I've got the Fox version and it's the best piece of mtb tech I've used in a long time with a 2 stage drop and a lever you can use like a left shifter. It's just a shame these thing cost so much money. The more companies that design them then the better priced they will become as they are massivly over priced for what they are.
  • + 2
 "The more companies that design them then the better priced they will become as they are massively over priced for what they are."

That has yet to happen with the bikes we ride and most of the components that go on them so I cannot imagine it will happen anytime soon for dropper posts, I have been battling with my will power for over a year now trying to resist getting one but these damn enduro races where you are descending one minute then on an arduous climb the next are starting to sway me towards getting a dropper, I'm gonna bide my time though and save bit by bit to get the right one.
  • + 1
 If there´s a fixed number of customers, the price will fall when more sellers enter a market.
This effect will not work when the sellers are arranging terms (trust) or when governments set a floor price.

499$ for a dropper post is too much imo. I´ll get one asap when these are ~100€ and working properly without the need for often maintenance.
  • + 2
 It won't only get cheaper with more competition, the quality will improve a lot more too. As long as dropper posts don't work perfectly the focus of the competition will be on who makes the most reliable and best working dropper post. After that point has been reached, most other companies will copy the concept so theirs become good aswell. Then I think the weight game will start up, which will be the lightest reliable post. And around then or a little later the price challenge will start.


Look at where suspension fork and hydraulic disc brakes are at right now. The cheapest suspension forks can already be bought at around €30-€40 retail price, and I've seen low-budget hydraulic brakes at around €50,- newfor retail. Now I know that these are low-quality parts, but they are still much higher quality than when suspension forks / hydraulic disc brakes were new and super expensive / overpriced. Give it 5-10 years and you can probably buy no name dropper posts for €50,- retail that work better than the most expensive ones we have now.
  • + 1
 Now that I think of it, I bought my hardly used 2nd hand X-Fusion Hilo 100mm dropper post for only €70,-. So it's already going into the right direction: dropper posts don't need to cost you a kidney anymore.
  • + 1
 The Ice Lift dropper post goes for around 80€ brand new, so such cheap posts already exist. Thing is, it doesn't have the same quality as Gravity Dropper posts (pretty similar in design and function), or Reverbs, KS's, ... Best seatpost I've tried so far was the Reverb. Only drawback is the 150mm version only exists in 31.6mm, and you have to bleed them if you shorten the hose (or change the remote)
  • + 5
 I think you guys are comparing apple and oranges. Super low end gear does get better and second hand stuff is indeed cheaper but when you look at the good stuff, the stuff we want/buy, the prices just aren't moving much. Year after year there are new contenders and everybody always go "yay more competition so lower prices hopefully" but the truth is that it isn't.

Just look at a few years ago, fox and RS were the top fork makers. Now that marzo seems to be back in the game sr suntour churning out apparently good stuff combined with Xfusion, bos, magura and emerald (soon enough hopefully) with CCDB as a rear shock maker, the average shock price hasn't gone down much in the last few years except maybe for xfusion that seems to be undercutting some. Hell, every new dropper post seems to be more expensive than the last one. Now I understand that technology evolves and R&D is expensive but when you look at stuff that doesn't change much, like tires, pedals, chain guides or crank arms, it's the same deal.
  • + 1
 That's definitely true. But i think if you give it some time, the quality you have right now in a high-end dropper for 500usd, you will get in a couple of years in a low end dropper that costs 150usd. But by then the technology has evolved and people will consider this quality bad and outdated, so people will still want to buy the new high end dropper seatposts, that won't get any cheaper, only probably even more expensive like you said. So I think that droppers might not get cheaper, but you will be able to buy the same quality for less money.
  • + 2
 Keep in mind, too that fox thought they could sell their post in this price range: they found out quite quickly that they couldn't, and dropped it to $330. So there already has been some price pressure on posts, but it seems like $300 is the spot that new posts are hitting (excluding Thompson and 9point5, but there are cheaper posts on the market as well, Specialized and Giant, for example.) Which isn't THAT unreasonable: a dropper post is quite similar to half of a fork, so costing half of what a cheaper fork costs isn't that insane.
  • + 1
 Given that the quality of these top end products gets better every year it might be fair to raise the price as well. Also there´s inflation.
If looking at a given quality, the price should still drop when there are more competitors in a certain field.

The above is market theory, I`m not into biking for long enough to make an educated guess if the theory is fulfilled in reality.
  • + 1
 I think they figured out that if they can get away with 200$ pedals, 35$ grips, 120$ tires, 400$ droppers or even 10000$ bikes, they're going to do it. I'd be extremely curious to see their profit margins.
  • + 1
 Can some one desing a cheaper one with only 3 controled height adjustment. Thats al we need...nomal rides. Drops and long rides heights...
  • + 1
 They apparently could only afford a heavily used saddle from a stolen tweakers' bike after they paid $500 for the post.
wassup with that?
  • + 4
 The seat is a favourite of one of the testers, and if you've spent a lot of time on a seat that you like you'll know that it's not something you change out unless you need to do so.
  • + 0
 Why does the cable and lever mechanism have to go down the back of the seat tube? Seem the stupidest place to put on a bike, when thats the first place all the mud and shit flies to when your riding.
  • + 1
 Marzocchi needs to enter the dropper post market, Maybe not the very lightest, but will be glitch free and reliable for years to come haha, and would match my suspension Wink
  • + 1
 Specialized has done it right and for half the price and almost 300 grams lighter. Why make a product if yours can't beat what is already out there?
  • + 3
 I think that lever's actually pretty cool!
  • + 0
 Wonder why it is mentioned that this post is heavier than Fox, KS, Specialized, and Rockshox. Clearly PB knows that its heavier than the thomson as well... I wonder which dropper it isn't heavier than.... lol
  • + 1
 probably the DSP... that thing is a pig.
  • + 2
 My KS costs 150€ and is 125 mm (100 mm is too short) have a better trigger merged with the lock-on grip. That's all.
  • + 0
 I really wish more dropper makers would not run the cable to the top of the mast. Quite aesthetically displeasing i think. Not to mention cable slack when dropped.
  • + 2
 a $100 Thomson post seems cheap now.
  • - 1
 I love the idea of a dropper post, but they cost so damn much! Even used I can't afford it. I can get a Thompson Masterpiece, the best classic seat post on the market, for 1/2 the price of the cheapest dropper...
  • + 3
 Well of course it's going to cost more. Even a Thomson is just a metal tube with a clamp on the top. A dropper has all kinds of mechanisms inside.
  • + 7
 lol if anything you should be complaining that normal seatposts are so expensive...........
  • + 1
 I never really understood the point of these seat posts. Seems like overkill. unnecessary addition of weight.
  • + 2
 The post is sooo expensive, they couldn't afford a nice seat!!
  • + 1
 Sorry dude , I didn't see your post first
  • + 1
 Good place to hide your spare ammo - and stop the rotational play! - just need to make sure it doesn't blow your ass off
  • + 2
 Just label it for ENDURO, smart people will buy it!
  • + 1
 ... but then Specialized will come knocking on the door with a litigation notice!
  • + 1
 500$ for office chair technology... these things are cool and all, but dang!
  • + 1
 I'd like to see a wheel you could roll to change you height in small increments, or push in for large ones.
  • + 0
 I'll just stick with my specialized command post blacklite. Durable, more travel and it works every time.
  • + 1
 Gravity Dropper... That is all..
  • + 0
 Second that best one made. and fair price
  • + 1
 My $10.00 seat post clamp works great...not a single issue.
  • + 1
 AWESOME!!!!!
  • - 1
 Look mom I have tree brake levers in my bike! Almost 700 grams and all that issues?y
  • + 0
 Hey Mudman mom and he only pay $500.00....
  • + 0
 Droppas are proppa
  • + 0
 686 g is much too heavy.
  • - 1
 shit to expensive shove it
  • + 0
 Pricey enough... Frown
  • - 3
 Crap design, crap features and crap performance all for only $500. If this was my product I would be ashamed. Anyone who buys this is a moron.
  • + 0
 Boring.
  • - 2
 I hope it's enduro specific or I wouldn't buy it for such a great price even.
  • - 2
 Reverb is still better
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.076347
Mobile Version of Website